Ways of organizing a research paper

Once you have developed the basic outline of the paper, organize the contents to match the standard format of a research paper as described in this guide.

Note: this post was originally written by Heather Campbell in Those main points are your sub-headings. Continue to add text boxes until your paper is completely outlined — and perhaps until your paper is completely written.

Choose either a topic outline or a sentence outline based on which one you believe will work best for you. This gives you peace of mind and a chance to triple check.

How to organize a research paper in college

Importance of Many students find it easiest to work with visual cues in the form of pictures and other images to get organized. Imagine that your writing assignment is to explore symbolism in the childhood tale of "Little Red Riding Hood. Most research papers conclude with a restated thesis statement. Organize them by idea instead. Find supporting arguments for each point you make, and present a strong point first, followed by an even stronger one, and finish with your strongest point. Thorough research, thoughtful organization and presentation, and attention to detail in your developmental and final line edit will help you succeed in crafting a winning research paper. Say it regular language in your research notes, rather than writing out word-for-word what the book says. Most research problems can be analyzed from a variety of perspectives; an outline can help you sort out which modes of analysis are most appropriate to ensure the most robust findings are discovered. This way, the last point that people read is your best point. Mark each card or sheet of paper clearly with your outline code or reference, e. First, you need to tackle the final step in the essay preparation process: a topic outline.

Is your audience hostile or sympathetic to your position? A clear, detailed outline ensures that you always have something to help re-calibrate your writing should you feel yourself drifting into subject areas unrelated to the research problem.

If using a word processor, create meaningful filenames that match your outline codes for easy cut and paste as you type up your final paper, e.

Make the effort to ensure that your final paper is clean, tidy, neat, and attractive. Decide which of your boxes contain major ideas, then begin to line them up on the left side of your page. Explain the purpose of your paper and how you plan to approach the topic.

organizing an essay worksheet

Taking the time to draft an outline can help you determine if your ideas connect to each other, what order of ideas works best, where gaps in your thinking may exist, or whether you have sufficient evidence to support each of your points.

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Quick Tips for Organizing your Research Paper